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Upfronts 2014: USA Sets Six New Dramas

USA Network has commissioned six drama series for development as part of its upcoming slate of original shows, the network announced Thursday.

In addition, the network said it has picked up a pilot for an hour-long drama series Stanistan, which follows the staff at the American compound in the Middle Eastern country of Stanistan, according to network officials.

Other new shows in the pipeline include Boom, which follows a young couple’s move to frontier life in North Dakota; Brand, produced by Jodie Foster (Elysium) and Landscape Entertainment, which chronicles the life of a born-again Christian consumed with the reaching the unsaved; Control, which explores the world of air traffic control at a busy American airport; and Mr. Robot, in which a young computer programmer who can only connect to people by hacking them.

The network will also delve into the science fiction/supernatural genre with Colony, produced by Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel) in which human residents of alien-occupied Los Angeles are torn between collaborating with or fighting against their occupiers; and The Farm, in which a Midwest-based father who battles a long-buried evil that has taken control of his only daughter.

Other limited series in development include Border Lord, which focuses on the origin story of the Mexican drug cartels; and The Swap, in which a woman's plans to save her struggling marriage by convincing her workaholic husband to swap homes with another couple so they can take their family on a much needed vacation go terribly wrong.

USA will also look to build its lineup of comedies with several projects including Difficult People, which stars Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner (Billy On The Street) as best friends living in NYC; Love The One Your With, about a woman who falls in love with a man 14 years her junior; Majordomo, in which a struggling documentarian becomes a personal assistant to a friend and real estate heiress; Moguls, which follows the hijinks of employees of a popular Colorado ski resort; and Royal, about a recently defected Hells Angel who moves to the suburbs to care for his deceased sister’s children.   

The network is hoping to turn around its ratings fortunes with its new slate. The industry’s most watched network for the past eight years posted a 22% primetime audience decline during the first quarter of 2014.

“This slate represents the next generation of originals at USA, with a focus on dramas that are more serialized, provocative and culturally resonant,” network president Chris McCumber said in a release. “We’re very much committed to partnering with some of the most talented creatives in the business to offer a broad mix of compelling programming for our viewers.”